Saturday, 6 February 2010

Moscow hotels are the world's most expensive

By Oliver Smith

Hotels in Moscow have been revealed as the world’s most expensive for a fifth consecutive year.

Average room rates in the Russian capital were £265 a night, down by £37 on 2008. However they were still more than £40 dearer than the second most expensive destination, Abu Dhabi.

According to the survey by the Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), an international corporate travel services company, average room rates (calculated in local currency) fell in most cities, as hoteliers sought to entice travellers during the financial downturn with cut-price deals.

However for British travellers the falling value of the pound during 2009 meant that the cost of hotels in many cities actually increased. Average room rates in Abu Dhabi were £32 more expensive, accommodation in Geneva in £6 dearer, and prices in Washington were £9 higher.

In New York, the third most expensive city on the list, rates fell by 23 per cent (from $414.52 to $318.98), but due to the weak pound, this represents a fall of less than £20 for British visitors.

Average room rates in London fell by five per cent to £151.45, placing the capital in 29th position on the list.

Elsewhere in Britain, room rates in Aberdeen were the next most expensive, at £117.95 (a fall of 11 per cent), while the biggest decline in prices was seen in Belfast, where hotel rates fell from £108.42 to £86.60.

"We have just been through deepest recession since the 1930s and the recovery remains at a relatively early stage," said Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd.

"The latest HRG hotel survey vividly illustrates the effect of the downturn in demand on the hotel market. But it also shows signs of recovery across the globe, particularly in dynamic emerging economies."